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Martin Truex Jr. going for first three-peat of Cup career at Kansas

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400

KANSAS CITY, KS - OCTOBER 22: Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Toyota, celebrates with the trophy in Victory Lane after winning the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway on October 22, 2017 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images)

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Martin Truex Jr. is aiming for a weekend of firsts at Kansas Speedway.

The Furniture Row Racing driver will attempt two different trifectas in Saturday night’s KC Masterpiece 400, one personally and another specific to the 1.5-mile track.

Personally, Truex will look to win a third consecutive race at a track for the first time after sweeping last season’s races there.

Kansas represents one of Truex’s best tracks on the circuit. His six top fives in 19 starts is tied with his total at Michigan International Speedway. But his average finish of 15.1 is his 11th best.

“Winning three straight at Kansas would be pretty special,” Truex said in a press release. “We’ve been so good there the past three or four years but also had some heartbreakers after having the best car and not winning. Getting those two last year meant a lot. It was gratifying to get the job done but still feel the track owes us a few more.”

Truex won last season’s May race over Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick after leading 104 laps. He followed it up in the playoffs by leading 91 laps from the pole to beat Kurt Busch and Ryan Blaney.

They represented two of his series-record seven wins on 1.5-mile tracks last season.

Before the May race, Truex had led 518 laps at Kansas without a win.

“For whatever reason Kansas has always been a good track for me,” Truex said. “There’s something about the transition in the corners there that I am comfortable with. The balance of the cars I have had there just seemed to make speed. That is why I am definitely looking forward to going there and hopefully repeat what we did last year.”

Like last year, Truex enters the race with one win. He scored it in March at Auto Club Speedway. Since then, the defending series champion has two top fives, but those bookended a four-race stretch where Truex had three DNFs for wrecks and a 14th-place finish at Richmond after a pit stop miscue ended a winning run.

“Our performance so far this season has been up and down a little bit,” Truex said. “But speed wise we’ve been there each and every week. We’ve had really fast cars, and I feel like we’re right there in speed where we were last year.”

The other trifecta Truex looks to accomplish would be a track record.

Treux is one of three drivers who have won consecutive races at Kansas and he would be the first to win three in a row.

Jeff Gordon won the first two events at Kansas (2001-02) and was followed by Matt Kenseth, who won in fall 2012 and spring 2013.

Gordon finished fifth in his third attempt and Kenseth placed 11th in his.

Kansas is one of four tracks - including Charlotte, Dover and Chicago - where Truex has won multiple times.

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